AUGUSTA — Maine’s treasurer says the state’s long-term debt – especially a $4.3 billion unfunded liability in the state pension system – needs to be addressed.

Treasurer Bruce Poliquin today said taxpayers’ obligation to pay off the unfunded liability in the retirement system will balloon in the years ahead, swallowing up funds needed to pay for other state programs.

Poliquin says this trend is unsustainable. But he says the problem is not as severe as it is in states like California, Illinois and New York.

Poliquin says ideas on how to tackle the problem may be forthcoming when the pension system comes out with a report in the next few weeks. He says Maine has the leaders and political will to fix the problem.